It’s Time to Trade Up

    Nov 18, 2019 | by Anthony Wade

    I would venture to say that each and every one of us has made a trade at one point or another in our lives.  Most of the time, if you are going to make some sort of trade, it is pretty safe to say that the goal is to benefit from that trade.  I’ll never forget a line in the Batman movie where Jack Nicholson, playing the Joker, was going through a pile of pictures and saw one of a girl he wanted to date named Vicki Vale.  When he learned she was dating the extremely wealthy and distinguished Bruce Wayne, he said “She doesn't know it but she’s about to trade up.”  For whatever reason, that line stuck with me through the years and often when faced with a trade to make of my own, I have reminded myself to TRADE UP.

    What does it mean to trade up?  It’s really pretty simple.  It just means that, in your exchange, you receive something better in return for what you give up.  Some trade baseball cards or other collectibles like coins or stamps.  Professional sports teams are constantly trading players.  Some people like to trade cars and millions of people around the country regularly trade stocks to raise their net worth.  No matter what you trade or how old you are, the goal is to trade yourself in a positive direction.  For example, I remember a few early dealings in trading baseball cards where I made some pretty bad trades and, believe me, I learned very quickly how important it is to trade up.

    If you have made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, you have participated in the greatest exchange the world has ever known.  Unfortunately, many folks never truly understand what this means.  Most Christians think that when they received Jesus into their life, they merely exchanged an eternal address in hell for one in heaven.  In actuality, their trade runs much deeper than that.  Romans 5:10 says that we were enemies of God at one point in time.  Because of Adam, sin entered into the world and made it just like each of us had sinned for ourselves (Romans 5:12).  We were each born into sin, if you will, and God was angry with that.  To take it one step further, we were cursed.  If someone is cursed, they are basically empowered to fail.  You may say that a cursed person can’t win for losing.  He is subject to all of the care, fear, worry, anxiety, stress, pain, sickness, disease, and hatred this world has to offer.  To put it mildly, that’s not a good spot to be in, but that is exactly the state into which each of us was born.

    The good news is that God didn’t leave you and me in that state.  He sent His son to take our place.  Jesus became MY sin so that I could become the righteousness of God in HIM (2 Corinthians 5:21).  That is called the GREAT EXCHANGE, my friend.  Isaiah 53:5 says He was wounded and bruised for my sins, He was chastised so that I can now be at peace with my Heavenly Father, and by His stripes, I am healed.  Galatians 3:13-14 explains how Jesus took that curse for me, all of it, so that I can now be blessed.

    You see, blessed is the opposite of cursed.  A person that is blessed is empowered to succeed, not fail, and thank God that I am now empowered to succeed with the same authority that Jesus won at Calvary.  In fact, I have been exchanged to God by Jesus’ redeeming work.  Strong’s Concordance shows us that the words “reconciled” and “atoned” basically mean “exchanged” in Romans 5:10-11.  Read those verses with that definition in mind and see if it doesn’t make the reality of your new position in Christ come alive in you.  Oh yeah, one more thing.  Remember how I said God was angry with that sin problem?  Well, since you’ve been exchanged, you’ve been saved from His wrath, too (Romans 5:9)!

    Jesus died so you could truly live, He was made poor so you could prosper (2 Corinthians 8:9), He was made sick so you could live in divine health, and was rejected so that you could forever be accepted.  Decide today to walk in that amazing blessing.  After all, that sounds like the ultimate trade up to me.

    Today’s Word Study:  2 Corinthians 5:14-21

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